Record high meat prices have stolen the crown from dairy prices, leaving farmers feeling flush.
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SUPPLIED Westpack agri-economist Nathan Penny says meat prices will continue to be strong into the Autumn.

Record high meat prices have stolen the crown from dairy prices, leaving farmers feeling flush.

Westpac agri-economist Nathan Penny said the trend was set to continue, and prices would still be strong in autumn, when they were traditionally at their lowest.

With demand improving in all export markets, he said “It’s meat’s turn right now. It’s quite a big story and will remain so over the season.”

In July, mutton prices hit $6.40 per kilogram, setting a new record high. They lifted further in August to reach $6.60 per kg, which took them higher than beef prices.

In July, mutton prices hit $6.40 per kilogram, setting a new record high. They lifted further in August to reach $6.60 per kg, which took them higher than beef prices.

In September, lamb prices hit $9.40 per kg and beef steer prices were at $6.28 per kg, which closed the gap on the record set in 2019 for beef of $6.20 per kilo. Both were new record highs, Penny said.

High lamb prices were likely to last well into 2022, he said.

“The US demand is excellent. There’s not a lot of meat around, grain prices are high and Brazil has just had mad cow disease, while china is still suffering with swine flu.”

The milk price was sitting at either side of $8 per kg of milk solids and horticulture returns remained “very healthy”.

The rapid expansion of kiwifruit planting was now weighing on prices and record high crops might fetch lower orchard gate returns per tray for the first time in several years, Penny said.

“It has got to a point where it has started to mature and you’re getting top-heavy land prices and licenses are also getting very high. So maybe we are getting to a point where the one way traffic is coming to an end.

”It was quite remarkable the last few seasons as they were growing production and exports by well over 10 per cent but still getting improvements in gold returns.”

Consecutive seasons of price gains are set to come to an end for orchard gate returns, says Westpac's Nathan Penny.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF Consecutive seasons of price gains are set to come to an end for orchard gate returns, says Westpac’s Nathan Penny.

Normal supply and demand was kicking back in, he said.

Orchard gate returns for gold and green kiwifruit were down 10 per cent on the same time last season and higher transport costs were hitting exporters. The impact of that would lead to an OGR of around $10.50 per tray for gold and $6.40 for green.

But all this clover was helping to push input prices higher. When farmers had money to burn it meant suppliers could hike prices, Penny said.

Prices for things like feed, fertiliser and labour were heating up, and interest rates were set to go higher.

The giant Holstein cow with spots arranged as a map of the world is designed to celebrate the farmer-owned cooperative’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

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